Adam Kay reckons the NHS is “our greatest achievement as a civilised nation” and he knows exactly what politicians need to do to save it.
The health service was a subject attracting fervent interest as Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson went head-to-head in ITV’s leadership debate last week. It is likely to be a subject which has a big say on which one will be in Number 10 after the December 12 election.
But both political leaders would do well to heed the advice of doctor-turned-million-selling author Kay. He laid bare the realities of life on the frontlines of the NHS in his bestseller This is Going to Hurt and he is clear on how the government can make a difference after years of cuts.
In total, more than 92,000 people have sold The Big Issue since 1991 to help themselves work their way out of poverty – more than could fit into Wembley Stadium.
What must the government do? Funding. It simply comes down to that,” he writes in this week’s Big Issue. “We need to have a big grown-up conversation as a country about what we want the NHS to provide.
“The government has announced more money, and that’s better than no more money, but it doesn’t undo the years and years of damage. I don’t think these decisions should be made by here today, gone tomorrow politicians who have half an eye on the electoral cycle. Funding for the NHS needs to be above politics, like the Bank of England, so it’s sort of autonomous.”
Read more from Kay in this week’s bumper Christmas Special Big Issue magazine, available now from vendors and The Big Issue Shop.
Twas the Nightshift before Christmas by Adam Kay is out now (Picador, £9.99). This is Going to Hurt Live is touring until March. See adamkay.co.uk. Adam Kay was speaking to Steven MacKenzie